Monday, August 20, 2007


We are at the Ullandal sannidhi in Srirangam. Sri Andal lived at distant Srivilliputhur, but dedicated Her life for Sri Ranganatha. All the 30 songs of Thiruppavai and 143 songs of Nachiyar Thirumozhi are sung in praise of Sri Ranganatha. Accepting Her devotion, on the 6th Day festival after alighting from the Elephant Vahanam, the Lord stays for sometime in front of this sannidhi before entering sanctum sanctorum. At that time they exchange garlands. There is a connection between, Sri Andal and the 25th and 26th slokas we are to see now. Unlike in other places, Sri Andal is in a sitting posture with a parrot in Her hand. Her father Perialwar is standing nearby. Both the idols are Utsava murthy and the idols in Veliandal sannidhi are Moolavar. During the Vaikunta Ekadasi festival, the Perialwar idol here is brought near Sri Namperumal. We have already seen loka sangraham. Though we may be capable of doing many things, if there are going to be persons following what we do, then we should do only what others can easily follow. This is loka sangraham. Swami Vedantha Desika in his Tatparya Chandrika says that loka sangraha is that making all the people to follow that principle which will be taking people forward and which all people can follow. If a scientist invents a new thing, it should be useful to all and it should be possible to produce that commercially. Suppose his invention could be produced only once in 10 years, none will use it. Or, if the invented thing could be marketed at very high price then also none will use it. Likewise our methods or ideas should be lofty and at the same time they should be practical for all to follow. This is explained in 25th sloka:

saktah karmany avidvamsoyatha kurvanti bharatakuryad vidvams tathasaktascikirsur loka-sangraham
"As the ignorant perform their duties with attachment to results, the learned may similarly act, but without attachment, for the sake of leading people on the right path."

avidvamsa = those without atma gyana but having just knowledge to do karma [most of us come in this category], karmani saktah = but are willing to perform duties prescribed to them, yatha kurvanthi = what such people could do, kuryad =should be done, vidvams= by learned persons, tatha =who, asakta = have no inclination to do karma [as they have already had atman sakshatkaram or in a position to practice Gyana yoga] , loka sangraham = for the world to follow, cikisrur= if such a desire they [learned people] have. A doubt may arise here. In a school, if in a class there is a student who is below average, should the teacher be at that student level? But this is not what Sri Krishna told. He says that if there are fore runners, they should do things which the followers could follow and raise their capability. In the student example, the teacher has to come to the level of the mediocre student and raise the standard of the student. If Arjuna follows Karma yoga, then his followers also would practice Karma yoga and he could make them realize atman sakshatkaram. Sri Andal is ranked among the Alwars and so She was as much learned. Still, in Her Thiruppavai, She tells us to do simple things to attain Moksham like vayinal padi [singing in His praise], manathinal sindikka [just think of Him] and thoo malar thoovi [ offering flowers]. Though She knew all the skills of Gyana yoga She advised us to follow what is practical for us. By asking us to do what we daily do, She raised our standards and that is why She is very popular.

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